China’s newly appointed foreign minister offered strong praise for Americans in one of his first set of remarks after taking office. The praise could signal People’s Republic of China (PRC) and it’s ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) are hoping to take U.S.-China relations in a new direction, forming more positive relations between the two countries.
In a Tuesday Twitter thread, new Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang said “In the past 500+ days, I have visited 22 states. I went to government agencies, Congress, think tanks, enterprises, factories, ports, farms, schools and sport fields, and made many friends across the US.”
“I have been deeply impressed by so many hard-working, friendly and talented American people that I met,” Gang continued.
Qin, who served as the Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. from July 2021 to December 2022, assumed the role as the leader of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Dec. 30.
Qin started his Twitter thread by reflecting on his time as the ambassador to the U.S.
“I came to assume office in 2021 at a time of severe challenges for China-US relations,” Qin said.
President Donald Trump began a trade war with China during his presidency in an effort to renegotiate trade deals. Ties between the U.S. and China were further strained as the U.S. has sought to prevent China from harvesting critical U.S. data through new telecommunications projects.
Ties between the U.S. and China have remained strained under President Joe Biden. During Biden’s presidency, the U.S. has continued to challenge Chinese territorial claims in the Indo-Pacific and has formed new security partnerships with allies and partners in the region, such as a defense technology agreement with Australia and the U.K. known as AUKUS. China has in turn accused the U.S. and its allies of promoting a “Cold War” mentality.
Biden has also repeatedly said the U.S. would come to Taiwan’s defense in the event of an unprecedented attack by China.
Qin’s tweet thread suggested he is hoping to warm relations between the U.S. and China after the two countries have been at odds over a number of issues.
“What’s past is prologue,” Qin wrote. “Going forward, I will continue to care about and support the growth of China-US relations, encourage dialogue, mutual understanding and affinity between the two peoples, work for mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation between our two countries, and make my due efforts for the wellbeing of the two peoples and for world peace, stability and development.”
Qin is replacing Wang Yi as China’s Foreign Minister after Wang was promoted to serve as the director of the Office of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission, the communist party body that oversees the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
WION News reported Wang also wrote in Qiushi, a CCP-run journal, that he would seek to “correct course” on U.S.-China relations.